Alexandria City Council approved the Beauregard Small Area Plan on Saturday following a lengthy public hearing at .
The plan calls for substantial redevelopment in the city’s West End along Beauregard Street near Seminary Road and the Winkler Botanical Preserve.
According to the developers and others, the plan envisions a mixed-use community with a town center that respects existing adjacent neighborhoods and the area’s natural beauty while providing new amenities including parks, a new fire station, transportation improvements, athletic fields, a modern grocery store, restaurants, shops and services.
The plan also calls for developers to demolish about 2,500 apartments in the area to make way for more expensive units. The city negotiated with developers for the plan to include the dedication of at least 800 units of committed affordable and workforce housing.
Citizens expressed traffic and density concerns at Saturday’s hearing and others argued that the city could have negotiated more with developers, according to The Washington Post.
The plan calls for developer and city contributions of $210 million to pay for community improvements and other amenities. Approximately $154 million will be directly contributed by developers.
According to a city release, nearly $120 million of the total will go toward affordable housing components of the plan. About $66 million will be used for traffic improvements, $11 million to construct a fire station and more than $12 million to pay for recreation and other public amenities. Alexandria’s $56 million contribution will be derived almost exclusively from new taxes that the Beauregard development will generate.
“This plan will help shape our future by providing an integrated framework for connecting residential and retail growth with important improvements to transit, public safety, and open space,” said Mayor Bill Euille said in a statement. “Opportunities for affordable housing are also a priority—and this plan ensures at least 800 units of affordable housing will be available in the future. Additionally, the city will benefit from the Beauregard Plan because we will strengthen our transportation system by establishing a public-private partnership to pay for these improvements.”
The plan passed 6-0, with Councilwoman Alicia Hughes abstaining after offering a failed motion to delay the decision until September.
The plan was a topic of discussion at featuring all 14 Democrats running for Alexandria City Council and independent mayoral candidate Andrew Macdonald.